SOMERSET County Cricket Club has released a statement regarding the coronavirus outbreak, stating that the club is "monitoring the situation carefully and regularly".

The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton remains open as usual, but there is increased cleaning taking place at the venue.

This statement comes as sporting events are becoming increasingly hard hit by the global outbreak.

With the World Health Organisation having now declared coronavirus a pandemic, the Indian Premier League - featuring the likes of Tom Banton and Jos Buttler - looks set to be played behind closed doors or even cancelled.

In Taunton, Somerset are scheduled to host Cardiff MCCU for a friendly match on Tuesday, April 7, and Warwickshire in their County Championship opener on Sunday, April 12.

The club statement reads: "Given the increasing uncertainty around the development and effect of covid-19 coronavirus, we are keen to ensure that questions surrounding coronavirus and how this will impact those visiting the Cooper Associates County Ground are addressed.

"We are monitoring the coronavirus situation carefully and regularly, with the health and safety of our visitors, staff and players as our priority.

"We are following Public Health England and NHS guidelines, which means that the Cooper Associates County Ground is currently open as usual.

"This includes The Stragglers Coffee House and all events taking place in our Somerset, Colin Atkinson and Ondaatje Pavilions.

"However, in line with those guidelines we have increased our cleaning routines across all areas of the ground, and strengthened hygiene and sanitisation in public areas."

The club's interim chief executive, Malcolm Derry commented: “We are doing everything we can to keep the Cooper Associates County Ground open for business as usual, whilst still ensuring we are fully compliant with all the government advice.

"It is important that we look after ourselves and each other by ensuring we follow the guidance and are vigilant about hygiene.

"For us, it is paramount to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone within the Cooper Associates County Ground and we will continue to monitor and implement all advice.”

The club statement adds: "We ask visitors to the ground to ensure they wash their hands in any of the public toilets within our facilities upon arrival and at regular intervals during your visit.

"If you have recently travelled to the UK from countries with a higher risk of coronavirus you should seek medical advice.

"If you have been to one of these places in the last 14 days, find out what to do using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

"If you are experiencing symptoms (which include a cough, a high temperature or shortness of breath) or have been to any high-risk areas, the Government advice is to call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately.

"Anyone with flu symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection by staying at home and recovering.

"We will update the information by publishing any changes on the Somerset County Cricket Club website and social media pages as and when necessary."